Lecturer quits after misconduct revelations

The University of East London has parted company with an academic found guilty of research misconduct at two previous universities.

July 21, 2011

Jatinder Ahluwalia has left his position as senior lecturer in pharmacology at UEL after an investigation prompted by revelations of research misconduct while he was a postdoctoral researcher at University College London.

A UCL investigation concluded in November that he had manipulated experiment results by renumbering computer files. It also found, on the balance of probabilities, that he had contaminated colleagues' experiments to cover his tracks.

The Retraction Watch website reported in February that Dr Ahluwalia had been dismissed from the University of Cambridge biochemistry PhD programme in 1997 after his supervisor suspected him of faking results. UEL said at the time that it had opened a "formal investigation involving external independent peer review".

The university confirmed that the investigation was now complete but declined to give details. A spokeswoman said: "The university conducted a full investigation concerning the matters raised. As a consequence, the individual concerned is no longer employed by the university."

Imperial College London, where Dr Ahluwalia eventually obtained his PhD in 2002, is also carrying out an investigation of work Dr Ahluwalia did while there. Its conclusions are expected in the next few weeks.

A spokesman said: "The college reviewed concerns around Dr Ahluwalia's PhD research last year. In light of new information, the college took the decision to rerun a number of key experiments, with the intention of acting on the findings if appropriate. The results are currently being reviewed."

paul.jump@tsleducation.com.

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